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About Primula

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    2013 Fall
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  1. Primula

    Travelling while being female

    Either luck, or some other factor - e.g. I rarely have problems* but I am also taller than most people, and I suppose that it can discourage many people. Individual experiences are very subjective in this case. (apart from other factor, notably location as I mentioned above... "Paris" is really a vague term) * Also depends on what different people consider serious / worth mentioning, e.g. when I was a child then being touched against my will (by peers, not by adults) and punished "for overreacting" was a daily bread (in Eastern Europe back then only "serious beating" and "stealing money / valuable things like clothing" was considered bullying) so I probably would not even notice if someone touched my leg randomly or something like that
  2. Primula

    Travelling while being female

    Hello, few ideas to this topic: - in large cities in France, there is a HUGE difference between "ghetto" areas and "normal" (or even "nice") areas, so when you read anything, try to find out *where* it happened, under what circumstances (when it was budget travelling and "super cheap hostel directly in Paris!" it gives you some clue) - for the above same reason, I would ask the organizers for some hotel recommendations That was for the "dangerous" part. Now the "annoying" part. There is an issue with street harassment on the level of "walking next to someone and talking to them". The local advice is ignoring this kind of people (because any interaction is better than nothing for them); I prefer to make short eye contact with "ew I stepped in a dog poo" face (under the logic that avoiding eye contact could be interpreted as fear). Personally I ignore young and middle age (let's say under 60) men even if they ask for directions or stuff like that. If the area is touristic then I would be also careful about pick pockets (e.g. passport goes in the front pocket, not in the wallet). Always memorize things like your address and how to get there plus some emergency phone numbers. I recall a guy who was in Germany and told us that he has to catch the last tram "because he only remembers how the station looks like, and he does not know the address of his Airbnb room, only knows it ends with -straße"; "Straße" means "street" and like 80% of street names end with -straße
  3. First to the original reason for posting which was "that's going to take a long time, right?". Well, I basically got the answer in "hell, I've had one paper that got rejected 7-8 times prior to getting accepted!" - if it happens and we need six months of mailing back and forth before we decide on another submission, then I need 3.5 - 4 years. Why should I expect that others will work faster than they did till now? ****** Soooo an update (or not really much of an update); I started with applications for other PhD positions but did not yet cancel this PhD (I will have to do it if I'm accepted anywhere though). My supervisor wrote me on July 16th that she is sorry, she got to revisions of (the version from May 22nd) only now and she will send them ASAP... well still nothing. My major problem is that I am not sure that the material is good enough to pass thesis defense. It is not something I can change by putting more effort and time into that, it is the sheer amount of experiments (done in a lab, so it is not like I can continue doing more work on my own). Actually it is less work than my MSc. thesis. In December 2016, she told me - after evaluating results for the paper mentioned above, the one I am still waiting for - that "together with the (elite journal) co-authorship and the paper with A., I think it could be your thesis". I THINK. And IT COULD BE. Even at this point it did not sound very convincing, right? Two months later it showed that A. fabricated the data (which I was saying already between Christmas and New Year... and already in September I was saying that A. is too clumsy and just won't be ever able to use methods she was using). Well, my supervisor (finally) accepted that A. fabricated the "treatment X control" data, but still thought that the (laboratory) methods she was using worked and insisted that we keep trying to use exactly the same setup because "it worked before" + "we can use her other data, instead of doing everything again". Which was basically when I put her (my supervisor) in the "way too optimistic" box. We can't get the system to work, the only person who could work with that fabricated data, and you still believe that it ever worked? My plan A was to re-do the experiments A. did (it was my original project anyway) but yeah, could not reproduce her "perfect" results. And then I did not get another work contract, so bye bye lab work. Plan B was to finish the paper and the thesis ASAP, submit both, and just see if it is good enough. Turned out that ASAP takes quite some time. So the options now are: 1) starting another PhD and start working in a research lab in two months (for example) 2) working in warehouses and fast foods "until the thesis is defended" (the paper has to be *published* before), then applying for a postdoc with "two years PhD study, one year unemployed, one year in a warehouse, thesis based on 1.2 papers") - plus it is not guaranteed that the thesis will past the defense (based on the amount of data which I cannot change) 3) working in warehouses and fast foods for six months (until I can afford to move back to my home country, which I cannot do now), moving back, getting some qualified job outside research, then either staying for at least two years or letting them make troubles (bad references and such) for leaving "too early"... and then maybe applying for another PhD anyway
  4. Three years. (or two years, I did not have a contract for the third year) I live in Germany (should have mentioned but my point was just the HEY THIS PUBLICATION PROCESS IS GOING TO TAKE QUITE SOME TIME, ISN'T IT, not really the "so what to do next" part), here it is the standard time, so the next PhD would be also for three years. (same like the one paper situation; cumulative thesis is not even allowed) Looking at the speed of everything, it does not seem so bad. The paper already exists, but I cannot finish it myself (partially clinical work - that's the trouble, the people are working in clinic and don't have any research position and it is not even an university hospital, so basically no way put them under pressure through the uni). And that's just the first version, then it is going to be either edited for another journal or comments of the reviewers will be addressed and I don't expect it to be any faster. Plus it is possible that the reviewers will ask for some more experiments - and it is wet lab biology (read: not bioinformatics), so I just cannot do it on my home computer and have to wait for someone else to do it. Well, also not really optimistic about how long it would take. At this point, my advisor is not really the problem IMO (I could submit the thesis and then be in the "I can defend it when the paper is published" situation, but now I am unsure if it is the right thing to do, that puts me in "thesis submitted, I will be PhD soon and you will have to pay me twice more, LOL" when applying for a PhD and "thesis submitted, but the paper is not yet published, so it is unclear when I will be finally PhD and it could lead to quite some trouble" when applying for a postdoc and nothing in particular when applying for non-research jobs I think) - except for maybe being way-too-optimistic (general trait). Considering that the paper was already reasonable in May 2016 (not a rough draft or something like that) and since then it was either waiting or HEY I DECIDED TO CHANGE THAT, I don't think that even if we submit it tomorrow it will go really fast. Even if it is accepted with minor revisions in the first journal. Still it takes time to get OK from everybody.
  5. If I am doing a PhD right now... well, I don't have a doctoral candidate contract anymore, but I am not yet PhD and basically I am just waiting and doing unrelated temporary jobs just to pay the rent. My thesis is going to include this-paper-in-progress and one already published paper where I am author no. 6, but most common situation (at our faculty) is that the thesis includes just one paper. Yeah, I am aware that everything can be published somehow (the question is if the other people would agree to it, e.g. I have also quite some negative results and it would make a PLOS ONE paper but both my supervisor and the PI are against publishing that... at least now), but I am beginning to think that the best thing time-wise would be just start a new PhD because it would be simply much faster plus meaning that I will actually do *something* in the meantime (as position "PhD desirable but not necessary" are totally rare). I actually think I was way too much persistent (when I should already give up and start doing something else).
  6. (mostly just complaining) So my work contract has ended during thesis-writing paper-writing and it looked like everything is going to be finished next Tuesday. More than one year later, it looks the same. Largely it is stuck because of my co-author who is not even working on a research position (MD in clinic). Most of the time it was like "OK so let's get the paper submitted so we can submit the thesis (though it can be technically done before), then I can get a reference that also says that thesis is already submitted, and that should be enough for a postdoc position". So far nothing, plus the thesis cannot be *defended* until the paper is published, and I don't like the project anyway (it was supposed to be just a small side project) + even when I was in the lab it was impossible (the PI was against that, my supervisor, who is deputy of the PI, was for that) to get some help from technical assistants. So if the reviewers ask for more experiments it will take approximately forever, I guess.
  7. Let's say I think that the "it is going to be fine, don't worry" paper is just bullshit, I don't expect it to be submitted and published in some realistic time frame (or - in a good journal - ever) and I would like to apply for another PhD position. Anybody here did that? Ideas and experiences? (my work contract has already ended more than a year ago, thus: I cannot get more data and I am not "leaving a lab")
  8. Hello everybody; one application asks for all techniques I am familiar with - where I have "hand on experience, not just from lectures". Okay, I am really not sure what does count and what does not. Do practical classes count? Where we just followed the protocols, and did it only once or twice... sometimes three times, but not more? I know it's more than "just a lecture", but on the other hand, it's just a very basic experience. And techniques I've used a bit in my project, but again, I've only followed protocols someone else had written, no troubleshooting, no modifications etc. What would you list?
  9. Hello everybody. I've already read topics about how people should not make excuses when they have low GPA or lack of research experience. But I think that my situation is a bit different. It took me five years to finish my Bachelor degree, instead of three years. And I've received pretty miserable marks (except for final exams). I cannot put in my CV anything (at least a little) explanatory, like a big research project or valuable work experience. I actually don't want to make any excuses or explain anything, but I think that it's just too unusual and should be addressed somehow. Or not? The real story is incredibly whiny - drug addicted sibling in the same household, no financial support from parents (to move to some other place without having to work too much), no student loans in my country (because parents are obliged to support you). Yes, I do know that many people managed to study and work at the same time and were just fine, so I know it's no real excuse, I'm just giving you the background. Obviously I don't have the highest EQ ever, because for three years parents kept promising me how they are going to put the troubling sibling in the rehab / boarding school / anywhere (simply away) at the end of the semestr... okay, the next one... okay, the next one, and I believed them. There was too much attendance in the school, and I thought my issue is just temporary, so I refused to sign up for easier courses with less attendancce and / or less studying required. Stupid, I know. Then I decided to take Master degree in bioinformatics (finally seeing that the issue is NOT temporary), just because the work would be flexible and I would be able to do some part time job. Well bioinformatics are pretty terrible, I did not finish the thesis, took several months off the school (thought about never coming back at the moment), but then a new law was passed and I was able to get a loan, so I wrote a good thesis on physiological topic & applied for Master in physiology (which is pretty time-consuming) and since then everything was okay. Maybe I could mention that I wasted time trying the wrong specialization? Though that would be a lie, but it would make some sense. One school advisor thinks maybe I should put in something about taking care of a sick relative, stating that alcoholism and drug addiction are diseases, so what. I don't like this one, and it's definitely a lie. FYI: everything went smooth during my Master studies, top marks on everything so far, nice project, lot of results, maybe publication during summer 2013. Also, I'm Eastern European and applying for Western European schools. Shall I just leave it as it is, unusually long studies, no comment? Put some note about "family issues" somewhere (where?)? Mention that "I wanted to give up my studies due to family difficulties, but then I realized that..."? Write something about the mistake with bioinformatics? Ask professor to put something in the LoR? I don't know what is best, and career advisors are undecided as well. Any ideas appreciated.

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